On Monday, July 1 st 2019, CEDE Aruba, together with the Aruba Timeshare Association and endorsed
by the Aruba Tourism Authority launched the HAPPY COMMUNITY INITIATIVE, a new platform for all
visitors who would like to make a donation to good causes in Aruba. The priority is set to support
projects for the Aruban youth. Visitors can make a donation through website of the project
www.happycommunityaruba.org, or they can donate by using the first digital donation kiosk in the
Caribbean, which will soon be available in several timeshare hotel lobby’s. In addition, some resorts
will offer the possibility to make a donation at the checkout.
Millions of people around the world love Aruba, the ONE HAPPY ISLAND and the home away from
home! Tourism in Aruba has been growing many years and is performing very well. Especially US Visitors
have a special relation with Aruba. However, tourism also brings challenges to small islands such as
Aruba. About 6 of 10 youngsters between the ages of 12 and 18 are alone or without adult supervision
after school time. In most cases because their parents are working. In addition, many of Aruba’s
youngsters do not travel often and experience boredom and lack of activities during school vacations.
Furthermore, 4 out of 10 Aruban youngsters do not finish secondary school. This is a very big issue for
Aruba’s future economy and the tourism industry.
The above mentioned challenges are the reason that CEDE Aruba approached the Aruba Timeshare
Association to propose a partnership for a fundraising program. Together, they initiated a survey among
timeshare owners. The results show that there is quite some interest to donate and to volunteer. In
2019, CEDE Aruba and ATSA signed a cooperation agreement. This agreement clarifies the roles of both
parties. While CEDE Aruba will manage the donations and select the youth projects that will supported,
ATSA will motivate and support members to enter in the program. The responsibility of the participating
resorts is to properly train their staff, in order to inform guests about this positive program. In Addition,
ATSA together with CEDE Aruba, will also engage other potential partners.
Where will the donations go? A recent investigation conducted by CEDE Aruba and ATHA, a local
association of youth organizations, shows that more than 60% of Aruba’s youth is asking for after-school
programs, aiming at sports, cooking classes, art programs and a safe place to hang out with friends.
More than 50 non-profit organizations are motivated to contribute to a national after-school program.
Donations to the HAPPY COMMUNITY INITIATIVE will help us to start and support after school programs
with a focus on time for homework and diverse, meaningful activities. In addition, donations will
support mentorship activities during school vacation and support projects aiming at youth at risk. Last
but not least, donations will also support projects that reduce the amounts of school dropouts and
create new opportunities for youngsters to integrate back in education and to find a career in one of
Aruba’s countless companies.
CEDE Aruba will make sure that 100% of the donations reach meaningful projects of local non-profits
and will check upon quality and transparent finances of the offered programs. This way every visitor can
be assured that the donations will hit its goal. CEDE Aruba is a dynamic community foundation,
supporting nonprofits in Aruba since 1986. This small and hands-on community agency promotes
cooperation between social organizations in several sectors. CEDE Aruba provides grants, helps non-
profits in the development of projects and brings together organizations to improve cooperation and
make bigger impact. In addition, CEDE Aruba has built a network with national and international funding
The HAPPY COMMUNITY INITIATIVE has a message to Aruba visitors: ONE HAPPY ISLAND – ONE ACT OF
KINDNESS. Get engaged, inspired and connected with our local community. Let’s build a bridge between
community organizations and the tourism industry. Help us to keep Aruba’s youth happy. The Aruba
Tourism Authority endorses this initiative for 2 reasons: first of all, because the focus is on the youth of
Aruba, and secondly, because the is a demand of visitors and cooperate groups that would like to help
and get involved in local initiatives.
For more information, please visit www.happycommunityaruba.org or send us an e-mail at
[email protected]. Local companies that would like to help us reach visitors can give us a call at
CEDE Aruba, phone 582-7666 and ask for Mrs. Kimberly Mathilda, the project coordinator of the HAPPY